Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Last night I dreamt I settled back to watch The Englishman Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain.

Only it involved a large, brown yet airy, polish-scented library with two large escalators rising through the open-planned centre of its several floors. I've been to this library before in dreams (history is second floor left, by the big windows); it's usually attached to a college or university in which I'm struggling to study, Beyton Middle School, or both. Last night it was neither. It was where Hugh Grant worked, because Hugh Grant was still in the film.

Also involved were fleets of silver, streamlined, eagle-headed aircraft which screeched out earth-scarifying belchy death stuff.

The plan was for everyone to be wiped out whilst H.G was up the hill for a stroll. He'd come down the hill to find total obliteration, so much so that layers of ground-level earth had been rent from their fixings. Thus making the hill a little bigger. Thus making it a mountain.

Then it started to get tricky.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

time and relative dimensions in prefabs

I stood in front of my first Year 7 class in 1993. I wasn't with them all the time, just long enough for a thorough dowsing in Danny, The Champion of the World, and to see that they were very, very small.

I taught them in a prefab somewhere out the back to the left of the main school; away and askew, even from the other prefabs needfully regimented to withstand Year 9.

They'd tumble in, this Year 7, pinballed through their new school, Big School, bruised, confused at how just eleven years on Manchester, England, Earth was supposed to have prepared them for the corridors, corners, tall voices, sharp elbows and several hundred shiny, new P.E bags and choices of High school.

Give them a few minutes to rattle down and relax and they allow themselves to be small enough to absorb every world in a story read to them. Universes of worlds, time beyond measure. Whatever I could creatively slip into the gaps in a tight syllabus. Surprising how big those gaps are from the inside.

They were my soft, sparky babies. Eleven years old in 1993. Now they will be doctors and vets, plumbers and checkout operators, marketing managers and military subversives. Across this country with its various askew prefabs, 1993's soft, shiny Year 7s have grown to be builders and parents, dissolutes, disparates, and decorators. Teachers, technicians, tutors, and a future timelord. Good luck to him. Fair travelling.

I am getting on a bit.

Friday, January 02, 2009

like 2.0

Mol brought her video of Angus down for me to share.

What I like is the embarrassing parents in this, she explained. It's so, like, real.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

battle of the bulge

Cooked and demolished a marvellous New Year roast beef dinner, with every trimming. That's the last of the sprouts and the crackers.

Fed full and happy, I followed the roast with a traditional, festive sandwich. There's always room for one of these, and they're best when you're full. You'll probably know the recipe, but a reminder never hurts.

For the bread use something tasty and substantial: Gone With The Wind works well, or any James Bond. Disney at a pinch, if your taste runs to that, or if there's nothing else. Something substantial with Eagles, Kwai, Dambusters or Navarone are recommended. Today I used the classic sandwich loaf, The Great Escape.

The filling is a generous scoop of rich, sweet, sleep fluff. Spread it right to the edge of the bread, good and deep. Don't miss a corner.

Take it to the sofa, keeping your cracker hat just about on, and enjoy.